Language, Cognition, and the Brain: Insights from Sign Language Research

By Karen Emmorey | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Sign Language and the Brain

A major theme of this book is the extent to which there are biological constraints on the nature of language. We have examined whether the visual-gestural nature of signed languages has an impact on linguistic form, on language processing, on language acquisition, or on other cognitive domains. We now turn to the question of whether the contrasting sensorimotor properties of sign and speech constrain the underlying neural systems for language. Is the functional neuroanatomy of language dependent on the sensory and motor modalities through which it is perceived and produced? Detailed studies are beginning to reveal the neural systems that are involved in language comprehension and production in users of signed languages. Fig. 9.1 provides a very basic road map for the major structures of the human brain that will help the reader follow the discussions in this chapter.


WHAT DETERMINES THE LEFT-HEMISPHERIC
SPECIALIZATION FOR LANGUAGE?

For more than a century (since the time of Broca and Wernicke), we have known that the left hemisphere of the human brain is critical for producing and comprehending speech. Damage to perisylvian areas within the left hemisphere (the language zone; see Fig. 9.2) produces various types of aphasia, language disorders caused by brain injury. Damage to equivalent areas within the right hemisphere does not produce aphasic symptoms, such as effortful speech, phonological and morphological errors, or difficulty understanding words or sentences. Why does the brain exhibit this asymmetry in specialization for linguistic functions? One hypothesis is

-271-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Language, Cognition, and the Brain: Insights from Sign Language Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 383

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.